Elected officers in Nigeria have continuously participated in election fraud, such as impersonation of voters, vote buying, snatching of ballot boxes, bribing electoral officials, and much more for many years. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has struggled to defeat electoral malpractice and restore credibility to Nigeria’s electoral system. And with less than 100 days to the next general elections, INEC Chairman, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, is determined to end this menace with the use of various technologies.
As with every innovation, some political stakeholders have reacted positively to this initiative as it would ensure a fair and free elections, others have expressed pessimistic sentiments as these technologies might fault their evil intentions to rig the forthcoming elections.
There are two key technologies INEC is trusting for the forthcoming elections: the BVAS and the IREV. There is a third one which BVAS works in sync with; it is called the IVED.
- Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS)
BVAS is an authenticator device that identifies and accredits voters’ biometric details. The device captures voters’ fingerprints and photo identity and correlates it with the individual’s existing information on INEC’s voters register. It also transmits election results from each polling unit to an established election portal in real time. INEC has successfully deployed this device in its last three gubernatorial elections, including Anambra, Ekiti, and Osun.
- BVAS is an upgrade to the Smart Card Readers (SCR) because it identifies if the actual PVC bearer is the one being verified, unlike the SCR which just scans the microchip embedded in the PVC.
- Also, the BVAS is synced with INEC’s Voters Enrolment Device (IVED); the technology used to register voters in polling units.
- The use of the BVAS and IVED automatically defeats impersonation of voters.
- INEC Election Result Viewing Portal (IREV)
IREV is a live portal that enables the public to view election results in real-time, after results have been collated in each polling unit and uploaded with the BVAS system. IREV is a technological replacement of the Form EC60E, which is a copy of Form EC8A (result sheet). This technology helps to organize election results and boost the public trust in the electoral process.
- The IREV system grants the public direct access to election results coming from every polling unit across the country before it is declared by INEC.